I’m on a personal quest to save the planet.
We all need to do our ‘bit’, I’m “finger-waggingly” informed by my youngest.
“If you want to save the planet, eat crickets and insects” – my online downloaded newspaper informs me.
I immediately begin to consider – how vital is this planet really, is my life absolutely dependent on THIS particular planet. I’m not sure I’m “cricket eating” desperate to save this planet. As with everything – I’m just mildly desperate. Mild should be my middle name.
But the finger wag suggests this is serious … so I’ve bought a small round table from IKEA. It’s for my imaginary Knights of the Round Table gatherings to right the wrongs of the world.
I consider calling my close associate, Steven Hawking, he’s the brightest person I’ve heard of, to ask him how his research on alternative planets we could survive on, is going. My son informs me Steven is dead. He flippantly enquires, leaving the room – “how close were you to Steven?” He did not wait around for the response — such was his disbelief.
“A few meters close … we grew up together”, I reply, “He was always on the television which wasn't far from my comfy chair”. I can’t help thinking though – how seriously would Lancelot have taken a wheelchair bound man who spoke through a straw!
I return to my newspaper. I do want to save the planet, but I can’t see myself consuming a bowl of crickets to do it. Actually, consuming a single cricket seems a bridge too far.
“You can fry them first,” my son informs me. Yeah that’ll make the difference, I sarcastically think. I say nothing.
Another article on the trajectory of our planet: “If you want to save the world you have to become GREEN’’, … it shouts out at me in bold print. Green is not a flattering colour. Nobody ever looked good in green … besides GREEN LANTERN and the guy who acted in THE MASK!
Green is also not a recognised food group. And most foods that are green taste like regurgitated vomit. Except green apples and basil pesto. Love those … but I’m forbidden to buy the green apples.
Take peas for example – they’re green and a joke … nobody can get more than 8 peas on a fork no matter how wide the tines are. By the time I’ve got enough peas in my mouth to make chewing worthwhile – I need an energy boost from another food group. And if you’ve ever changed a whole pea infested diaper, you know how they look when they're expelled. Positively alien. Consequently you now always chew peas like your life depends on it. Or you make pea soup. Only the elderly know this last trick. Apparently as I’m now in my fifties, I’m old and therefore eligible!
I am at my “round table”, actually its now a half moon table. It collapses when the imaginary knights of my round table are uninvited. It’s obviously the table from which I rule my fiefdom. Believe it or not, I’m totally in charge of the fruit bowl and all fruit purchases in our house. The fruit bowl sits on my round table. When it comes to fruit I have total authority … just so long as I don’t buy kiwis. Or sour apples (Granny Smiths). Or bananas with brown specks. Or oranges — they’re too hard to peel — I’m reliably informed, mandarins are better. Other than that — I’m in charge.
I admit it’s not as grand as Arthur’s round table but I have a superb GINSU knife stuck deep into a fantastic new ciabatta bread made from a TikTok recipe. Honestly those knives are every bit as good as EXCALIBUR. They cut through frickin nails.
I decide to go to church, apparently church has all the answers. It’s Saturday night and redemption is one sleep away … What time is the local church service tomorrow morning, I enquire of my collective family? My son gives my wife THAT look, but says nothing. He’s eating dinner. Dinner is nowhere near green. Neither can I see Jiminy crickets. He is not even trying to save the planet.
His look says – “humour him, but ask no questions. I’m not going to church tomorrow. This could get ugly and take up far too much of my valuable time”.
A parent’s trajectory is so clearly defined but most of us live in denial. It goes –
Creator and Protector of life;
Diaper changer and safe harbour during adolescent crises;
Superman – he who can do all things;
Bank and loan officer sans paperwork or any agreed payment deadline;
Tolerated and out of touch; and finally
He who can’t cope any more and needs constant supervision.
According to my 4-children – I’m on the cusp of the last two options … teetering in “no man’s land” between “barely able” and “incapable”.
Amazingly my children understand the concept of conception but cannot put parents and coitus together. And sadly for parents, the enjoyment of having coitus is irreparably diminished when looking into the rear view mirror of life at the result – children!
Children are not unlike food, so pleasant while doing the eating, but what comes out 9 months later is shit! Literally. Who knew. But having one less child is apparently 59% better than driving an electric vehicle (only 2% effective) in solving the world’s carbon problem. I should have read this ‘news’ in my 20’s. Two less kids and I would have been eligible for an award. I could have saved the planet. I KNOW I would have been infinitely richer.
Instead I’ve got to sit through a discussion about why I no longer understand banking … yet I managed to give my kids private schooling, run my own companies and provide 18 square meals a day … plus snacks.
I’m sitting contemplating what I can do to save the planet that’s both effective yet manageable. I decide on a smoked turkey sandwich with fresh mozzarella and homemade pesto. And lettuce. Two greens is a start. Tiny steps !
PS — I really do love them. The kids that is, not crickets. Hate crickets.